The Omega Directive (denoted by Ω) is a top secret Starfleet general order that is applied whenever the Omega molecule is detected by a Federation Starship. It requires the ship's Commanding Officer to suspend all other priorities and notify Starfleet Command immediately. (VOY: "The Omega Directive", Star Trek: The Adventures of Argus: "Trial By Fire")
Due to the threat to interstellar civilization posed by even a single Omega molecule, the Omega Directive authorizes the use of any and all means to destroy any Omega molecule encountered along with any knowledge of the molecules existence, even allowing the Prime Directive to be temporarily rescinded if necessary. Knowledge of the Omega Directive and the Omega molecule is also restricted to the ranks of Captain and above and is only available on a need to know basis.
On detection of an Omega molecule by a ship's sensors the following procedure would occur:
- The ship's computer cuts the ship's engines and locks out computer access, displaying the Greek letter omega ("Ω").
- This lockout can only be cleared by the Captain using both voice print identification and their clearance code.
- In the privacy of their ready room, with the doors sealed, the computer informs the Captain of the Omega Particle's detection and that the Omega Directive must be immediately implemented with all other orders rescinded.
- They are also informed that discussion about what is happening with the rest of their crew is strictly forbidden and that they should contact Starfleet Command immediately.
- Starfleet Command would then dispatch a specialist team to destroy the molecule using any means necessary.
In mid 23rd century, a top secret experiment called "Project Omega" was initiated at a classified research station in the Lantaru sector. Headed up by Professor Ketteract, the aim of this project was to create an Omega power source, an inexhaustible energy source that would replace the need for any other. The project's research lead the to discovery of the Omega molecule, which Ketteract and various cosmologists theories existed in nature for an infinitesimal amount of time at the instant of the Big Bang. The research showed that a single molecule of Omega generated as much energy as a starship's warp core and this lead Ketteract to believe that a string of molecules could power a civilization indefinitely.
The scientists set about synthesizing an Omega molecule and, in 2269, they were successful, but only for a fraction of a second before the molecule destabilized, destroying the research station and killing all 127 scientists. However it was the secondary effect of the explosion that held previously unimaginable implications for Starfleet Command; The destruction of the single particle of Omega ruptured subspace in a radius of 3.2 light years, preventing warp travel throughout the sector. As a result it would only take a few particles to destroy or devastate subspace across an entire quadrant and end interstellar travel for space fairing civilizations. If it was to happen in Federation space it render all communication, trade and contact between member worlds, destroying the federation in an instant.
As a result Starfleet Command fabricated a cover story that the problems that prevented warp travel in the Lantaru Sector were caused by a natural phenomenon and proceeded to suppress all knowledge of the Omega molecule. They then enacted the Omega Directive naming after the final letter of the Greek alphabet, like the molecule that it was designed to contain that had the potential to wipe out space fairing civilization.
On Stardate 51077.9, the USS Argus (NCC-75124) detected the presence of the Omega molecule in a power source located in a Preserver Temple on the Surface of Tyra III. Captain Lex immediately ordered the retrieval of the ship's away teams from the planet's surface, classifying their research and restricting them to quarters until they could be debriefed. The Omega particles were destroyed when the power source destabilised and the effects of their destruction were contained by a subspace field that erected around the temple and it's surroundings. (Star Trek: The Adventures of Argus: "Trial By Fire")
The Delta Quadrant
During it voyage home across the Delta Quadrant, the USS Voyager (NCC-74656) encountered a shockwave from an Omega explosion on Stardate 51781.2. Unable to alert Starfleet to dispatch an omega team to deal with the problem, Captain Kathryn Janeway was left to execute the Directive alone. She adapted it to the ship's unique situation, briefing her senior officers and then working with them to destroy the molecules. (VOY: "The Omega Directive")